Turmeric has been used in ancient medicine for over 4,000 years, going back to when residues of turmeric were found in ancient pots in New Delhi, India. Turmeric and especially its most active compound curcumin have many scientifically-proven health benefits, such as the potential to prevent heart disease, Alzheimer€™s and cancer.
Amazing 9 Benefits of Turmeric Powder
To show you how remarkable this spice is, here€™s a breakdown of research on 9 proven health benefits of turmeric :
1. Turmeric is Anti-Inflammatory
The typical western diet (think lots of processed foods, sugar, and alcohol) leads to what is called €œchronic inflammation€ in the body. Doctors believe this inflammation is a silent killer, because it sets the body up to be the perfect host for diseases like heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer€™s, and even obesity.
One of the main anti-inflammatory components of turmeric is called curcumin, which one scientific study found to be as effective as some over-the-counter drugs in bringing down inflammation in the body.
2. Turmeric Supports Healthy Joints
As the curcumin in turmeric is an anti-inflammatory, it can benefit the joints and help keep them from getting inflamed and swollen. This was demonstrated in a scientific study on rheumatoid arthritis patients. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disorder that causes painful swelling in the joints. Researchers found that 500 mg. of daily curcumin was more effective than the prescription drug Diclofenac when given to RA patients.
When it comes to taking turmeric for your joints, it was shown most effective when taken before symptoms kick in, as a preventative measure to keep your joints healthy, pain-free, and mobile. But some studies have demonstrated it can help treat osteoarthritis (a degenerative disease of the joint) as well.
3. Turmeric Promotes Heart Health
There are several lifestyle factors and conditions in the body that can lead the heart disease €“ which is the #1 cause of death in the world. As discussed earlier, chronic inflammation plays a major role in heart disease, so taking turmeric as an anti-inflammatory can help prevent heart disease and heart attacks.
One of the most interesting benefits of curcumin is how it can improve the lining of blood vessels (known as the endothelium). When the endothelium isn€™t working properly, it can€™t properly regulate blood pressure and clotting, which can lead to heart disease.
4. Turmeric Encourages Healthy Cholesterol Levels
High cholesterol is known to be caused by oxidative stress, brought on to the body by chronic inflammation and high blood sugar. So, again, reducing inflammation in the body supports healthy cholesterol levels.
One study found curcumin comparable to prescription drug Lipitor on endothelial dysfunction in reducing in inflammation and markers of oxidative stress. An earlier animal study showed similar results on the body.
5. Turmeric Boosts Stress Tolerance
If you feel stressed, adaptogens should be your new best friend! In herbal medicine, some botanicals are termed €œadaptogens€, which means they have the ability to modulate the release of stress hormones from the adrenal glands. This can help you adapt better to physical and emotional stress and be more resilient to anything that comes your way. They also help to keep your hormones balanced.
The curcumin in turmeric is a known adaptogen that has the ability to decrease the secretion of stress hormones in the body. In 2011, researchers in India found that turmeric had several adaptogenic properties that help with body weight, memory, blood sugar, and moreover that it helps the body maintain healthy stress hormone levels.
6. Turmeric Supports Weight Loss
Elevated stress can cause sudden weight gain. When stress hormones (cortisol) get out of whack, fat accumulates near the stomach because the cells in the stomach are more sensitive to cortisol, and very effective at storing energy. As turmeric can help you balance your stress hormones, it can help stop that extra spare tire from forming around your waist.
7. Turmeric Supports Healthy Metabolism
Turmeric has been used to treat diabetes in Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine for years. A 2013 review of scientific studies found that curcumin stabilizes glucose levels in the blood and also helped with complications related to diabetes. In one study, 100 overweight people with type 2 diabetes took either 300 mg. of curcumin or a placebo for 12 weeks.
There is promising research suggesting curcumin may reduce the risk of developing diabetes in high risk people too. In a 2012 study, all participants who took curcumin extract for 9 months didn€™t develop diabetes, although they were prediabetic. While 16% of the prediabetic participants who took a placebo did develop diabetes after the 9 months.
8. Turmeric Optimizes Vitality
Antioxidants zap free radicals in the body that can lead to cancer, neurodegenerative disease and other disorders. With all of the processed €œdead€ foods that creep their way into our diets€¦ we can all use more of antioxidants in our life! The curcumin in turmeric is a powerful antioxidant. Even better, curcumin is special in that it€™s been shown to boost the antioxidant enzymes in your body, giving you even more benefit!
9. Turmeric Supports Brain Health
Curcumin has the amazing ability to boost a protein in the brain called BDNF. This important protein €“ Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) €“ is responsible for helping the brain grow. It€™s been shown to increase neurons and form new connections in the brain €“ two things we really need as we get older.